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How To Pick The Perfect Tagline For Your Company

Picking the perfect tagline for your company can be a make or break moment. You’ve got to have something that is both catchy and tells the story of your company in just a few words. It’s going to be part of your marketing campaigns, on your website and probably your business cards. That’s why you have to make it something that is PERFECT!

Here is how to pick the perfect tagline for your company.

#1 Do You Really Need One?

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Taglines are a great way to explain what you do. They also provide an opportunity to floss your marketing chops if you play your cards right. Be careful not to try too hard to be cool. The most important thing in choosing a tagline is deciding if in fact you actually need one. If your company name and logo is self-explanatory you may not need a tagline. You don’t want it to weigh down your message, only use one if it will help clarify your message. Once you decide that you do need a tagline you should talk to a 5th grader and tell them what your business does and ask them to repeat it back to you in their own words. Write down whatever they say and turn that into your tagline. Disclaimer: This exercise works best when you pick a smart 5th grader. Either way, the point here is… “keep it simple.”

Contributors: Haj Carr from Trueline

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#2 Define your business

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Think about the top words or phrases that define your business. In my case, it’s “small business”, “marketing” and “strategy.” Before trying to be clever, write several straightforward statements like the one I started with, “Startup and early-stage business consulting.” Pretty dry, but it’s a start.

Get creative by substituting words that no one else is using, but are still understood by your audience. One of my favorites from the MacArthur Foundation is Building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. Verdant is such a memorable substitute for the overused environmental or green, and works well for the audience they're trying to reach. Use a thesaurus to make a list of alternatives.

I replaced the scary word strategic with big picture approach on the Blockbeta tagline. Big picture also gave me a play on words -- big and small, which makes it catchy and memorable. The result: “A big picture approach to small business.

Contributors: Robbin Block from Blockbeta Marketing

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#3 3 Keys to a Solid Tagline

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Inventing a new company tagline can feel impossible, especially if you don’t consider yourself to be a very creative person. Start by identifying the 3 basic points you need to express. Your tagline needs to communicate your company’s true mission. your promise, and it needs to express your brand. Then address the benefits of your product or service. Don’t go on about how great what your offering is. Tell me how it helps me.

If done well this can even be reinforced through your website or brochure copy. Lastly, look at how you can refine what you’ve developed to really make it stick in someone’s mind. It’ll take some time and you might have to go through a few rounds of refinement but keeping these principles in mind will create a solid tagline that you can feel confident about using.

Contributors: Shane Hebzynski from 3 Cats Labs 

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#4 Simple and broad at the same time

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My biggest tip for creating a tagline is to keep it simple and broad at the same time. For instance, if you are a consumer services company, what exactly do your customers get from you? Do they save time? Are they getting more bang for their buck? Another tip for creating taglines is to take what your consumers want and simply say you offer more. For instance, at CrediReady, we came up with More Money Please, as it is broad but conveys what our company does with auto loans. 

Contributors: Milad Hassibi from CrediReady

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#5 Short and actionable

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Ensure the tagline is short and actionable and that it tells the audience something about your company that the logo and name not already convey. A great tagline for an established company conveys a feeling, whereas it is advised for new companies to launch with a more descriptive tagline (eg: ‘sport innovations for every athlete’) that over time, as the audience starts to understand the offering, can morph into a more emotionally charged line (eg: ‘just do it.’). 

Contributors: Fabian Geyrhalter from FINIEN

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#6 Treat It Like a Trademark

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Taglines are trademarks and can give rise to infringement lawsuits. Chick-Fil-A went after an individual who used the tagline EAT MORE KALE, saying it infringed their tagline EAT MORE CHIK'N. And back when all they cared about was books, Amazon got sued by Barnes & Noble for using EARTH'S BIGGEST BOOKSTORE, while B&N went by WORLD'S BIGGEST BOOKSELLER.

Make sure you don't end up in a similar position. Work with an attorney to conduct a trademark availability search before launching your tagline. Once you determine that your tagline is available for use, work with an attorney to file an application to register your tagline as a trademark. And keep your rights in this asset by monitoring your tagline for infringing uses and taking steps to stop them.

Contributors: Laura Winston from Kim Winston LLP

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#7 Don’t be too aspirational

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Sure, companies like Apple and Nike can get away with having a feel-good tagline, but when Steve Jobs first started out Think Differently wouldn't have meant much. So curb your tao-ism and don't make people guess what you do. Instead, write down a few sentences about your company and what it does. Then continue trimming it down until you've reached a headline that really speaks to the what behind your company. 

Contributors: Lauren Gilmore from PR&Prose

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#8 Reflects business image

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When picking a company tagline you want to make sure you are choosing one that reflects the image you want to portray for your company. Make sure the tagline represents the product or service you are offering well. In addition, try to pick a tagline that shows your customers what your company is offering. In other words, what your product or service can do for them. Finally, make sure your tagline stands out in the crowd. Try to pick words that stand out to customers since your tagline could be the only thing your customer might see before moving on.

Contributors: Andrew Rawson from Traliant

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#9 Start with your USP “Unique Selling Point”

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What makes your company different and better than the others. What do you have or what can you provide that others don’t or can’t.

Make it memorable. 

Your tagline should resound so strongly in the company and in the minds of customers, that anyone who hears it should instantly be able to associate it with your brand.

Stiff companies are out the door (unless your whole target audience is stiff… sheesh). Your tagline should include everything here plus be a joy to read. Like lyrics to your favorite song. Played on repeat: over and over and over and over…*

Contributors: Tim Absalikov from Lasting Trend

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#10 Are hashtags the new tagline?

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When the tagline works it can be a huge boost to the brand (like for DeBeers Diamonds A Diamond is Forever or Wheaties The Breakfast of Champions) Taglines can be generated in-house or by an agency partner like my firm if you want outside creative help. Either way, the tagline itself usually comes out of market research about the company, things customers have said about the product or service, attributes of the product or service, and feelings people have when they use it. Then the goal is to put a clever spin on something the product or service excels at so that it is memorable.

Today the tagline seems to have been replaced by the hashtag, which can be much more useful in a social media-dominated marketing world. By adding a trending hashtag (like #travel or #love) or a descriptive hashtag (like #happy or #fun), advertisers can increase the likelihood of being found by customers interested in a common topic. Some brands use hashtags as if they were taglines, such as #DriveProgress which Audi used in its 2017 Super Bowl ad or Kit Kat's #haveabreak. While these hash taglines seem more like traditional branding, they can sometimes turn into popular social media memes and powerful brand assets like Always created with #LikeAGirl.

Contributors: Paige Arnof-Fenn from Mavens & Moguls

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#11 Find inspiration

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Typically a mood board helps to put together thoughts you are not able to puts in words, take many, then select the best and see the common patterns: playing with words, rhymes, etc.

You can also look at your competition, and see how they do it, do you think it is good, or do you want to differentiate? This very much depends on the industry (e.g., in banking as new entrants you want to show trust and might want to look quite conventional).

Contributors: Emna Everard from Kazidomi

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Written by Zak Parker

Article Writer, Pianist, Internet Marketing Enthusiast; I delve into a variety of creative mediums and take advantage of what they have to offer. With experience in SEO, Dropshipping, Affiliate Marketing and Advertising, I'm a plethora of general marketing knowledge and enjoy helping those new to the game get their foot through the door. I'm always excited to hear of the latest method, or if the chance presents itself, create my own.

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